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Constructing the Past in the Middle East

Constructing the Past in the Middle East

Scholars from nine countries spend four weeks visiting ancient sites, studying preservation of the Middle East's historic past.

Monuments, religion, understanding the past, nation states, global vs. local: today, these topics are more than just academic.

This intensive monthlong program offers an in-depth examination of how objects, buildings, and institutions conserve, preserve, and recreate the past for diverse communities—now and for the future.

Participants and invited lecturers discuss recent critical approaches to national patrimony, cultural memory, reception history, and the power of images and buildings to mold communities. The program features a one-week field trip to study selected sites in Turkey.

Topics include:

  • Representing and Appropriating the Past: Theory and Interpretation
  • Seeing the Past in Selected Sites in Turkey
  • Constructing the Pasts of the Middle East
  • Consulting Internet Resources
  • Managing the Past: The Practicalities of Monument Preservation and Intervention

Criteria for Participation:


  • Applications are invited from scholars with a PhD or equivalent professional experience in art history, archaeology, antiquities organizations, museums, conservation and monument commissions, cultural anthropology, cultural geography, history and urban planning.
  • Full program residency and participation in day and evening seminar activities are required.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required since all program activities will be conducted in English.

Terms of Fellowship
All successful applicants will be awarded a fellowship which features:

  1. Round trip airfare
  2. Lodging and meals
  3. Site admissions
  4. Seminar materials

For more information please send us an email.

How To Apply to the next Institute

The next Summer Institute will be announced in 2005. Please check this page for information.

Funded by the Getty Grant Program, in partnership with UCLA’s International Institute and the Office of Summer Sessions, with cooperation of Istanbul Bilgi University.

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